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Exchange struggles

Hey everyone,


I am currently on exchange (2 months down, 2 months to go), and I am quite depressed. I am always tired because of the weather here, sad about a broken friendship, and I am failing my subjects (maths). On the positive I am meeting some great people here, and I am enjoying exploring the city, but this isn't the experience that I was expecting to have when I signed up to go on exchange.


Has anyone else had a similar experience?




Re: Exchange struggles

Hey there! It's great to hear you are enjoying exploring the city you are in, where are you doing exchange? Although I haven't had much experience at all with travelling abroad to study @N1ghtW1ng I'm sure will have heaps to share with you, hopefully you hear from them shortly Smiley Happy


//You can stay afraid, or slit the throat of fear and be brave//

Re: Exchange struggles

China Smiley Happy

Re: Exchange struggles

That's awesome, what an interesting place @Parakeet I would love to go there one day!
//You can stay afraid, or slit the throat of fear and be brave//

Re: Exchange struggles

Welcome to Reach Out @Parakeet!


Living in another country away from family, friends and everything familiar to you can be an exciting and life changing experience, but at the same time it can be really tough. I lived overseas for about 8 months all up last year, and while I had some of the best times of my life, I had some days where all I wanted to do was to be back at home, so I can definitely understand where you're coming from.


Being at the half way mark of your exchange, you've been away for a significant amount of time, so homesickness might be catching up to you a bit. It was really cool to read about how you've been exploring and meeting a lot of new people! It sounds like, even though some days have been tough, you're still trying to make the most out of this life experience.


There's some really good info and fact sheets on RO that might help with how you're feeling, like the mental fitness section or the toolbox which has some of the best apps for your brain and body. You might also be keen to check out the School, Uni and Study fact sheets which can help with study techniques and motivation for school work.


Any times you're feeling a bit isolated or depressed, feel free to jump on RO for a chat! Smiley Happy




Re: Exchange struggles

hi @Parakeet


A good quote that I like to go by is "the path of least resistance is the path of least growth"


Often in the moment things can be a struggle, for example it may be harder to may friends than expected. And this can 'force' you out of your comfort zone in many ways that can help us grow and feel better in the long term!


Sometimes when we release expectations we have a different experience, but this can still be a satisfying experience!


Hope you get more out of it in the last 2 months Smiley Happy

Re: Exchange struggles

Hey @Parakeet and welcome to RO.
Being on exchange can be physically exhausting. I'm nearing the end of mine now, but I remember always feeling tired, not wanting to get up. It's okay to be tired and sad, taking your life and moving it to another country, for four months or however long can be difficult and stressful. Exchange is full of surprises, what kind of experience were you expecting? Do you think you can make that happen?

It's great that you have met some great people, and exploring the city is great fun, I hope you're taking lots of pictures!

Maths is a difficult subject all over the world. Is there anyone you can talk to to help you raise your mark? If you're worried about failing the subject at the end of the year/semester, try talking to the teacher or another school official about your options, what you can do. There are always ways around too low grades. Smiley Happy

Is the weather cloudy and rainy? Or too hot? Maybe there is a way you can make it better. For example, look at a rainy day as a day to spend indoors with fun games/movie/activity or visit a museum, something indoorsy. Take a too-hot day to enjoy somewhere with fans or air conditioning.

It sucks that you've lost a friendship, but you also said that you've met some great people on your exchange. No one can really replace lost friends, but you can always make new ones.

It is amazing that you have taken the opportunity to take this experience, because it will stick with you for a lifetime. There are always ups and downs when you go on an exchange, you're halfway through and it is completely natural to be feeling sad or depressed. You've gone two months in a foreign land and that is something to be proud of. Smiley Happy

Keep us updated. Smiley Happy

(also thanks for tagging me in @j95)

Guess what day it was!!! It was Wear It Purple Day!! Come on over and learn all about what it is and what you can still do!

Re: Exchange struggles

@N1ghtW1ng you're a legend. As soon as I read this thread, @Parakeet, I thought of n1ghtw1ng's own struggles with exchange. have you felt some relief by hearing a similar story?
It is absolutely normal to feel this way. With anything in life, we build it up so much and explore the positives, however a bunch of unanticipated negatives can always come up.
I think the truely awesome part about your post is that whilst you have spoken about these negatives, there are some great positives in there too! Meeting people overseas can be insightful and give you knowledge for life.
we are what we repeatedly do - aristotle

Re: Exchange struggles

Thank you for the replies everyone! I found them all very encouraging and comforting.


It is really hot here, minimum of 20 degrees! but yes air-con is endemic which makes it easier Smiley Happy


I was expecting more of a transformative experience, which it has been, but is a bit sad to realise that negative thoughts or your personality do not change because of your surroundings, at least not in the way you thought they would.



Re: Exchange struggles

Thanks for keeping up-to-date, @Parakeet

Remember that we are always here for support if you need it. Smiley Happy Or just a distraction in general. Smiley Tongue

My entire life can be described in one sentence: It didn't go as planned and that's okay. ツ